The Most Amazing Sleep Stories of 2014 – Family Features from The Baby Sleep Site

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It’s Family Features time again, parents! For the next few weeks, we are taking a look at three families and their amazing sleep stories. Meet Nadia, Yeyin, and Suki – three mamas just like you, who were feeling exhausted and utterly overwhelmed by their babies’ sleep problems. That is, they were feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, until they found The Baby Sleep Site®. Read on, and enjoy these beautiful stories!

This week, we’re introducing you to Yeyin, a beautiful mom of a beautiful daughter who was exhausted beyond measure when she came to us for help. She had tried everything – everything – she could think of to help little Haera sleep, including turning to a local sleep consultant, but nothing worked. That’s when Yeyin connected with Nicole, who gave her one incredible tip that changed Haera’s sleep immediately…keep reading to learn more!

The Baby Sleep Site: Yeyin, tell us a little bit about your situation before you contacted us for help.

Yeyin: Our daughter Haera was such a bright and beautiful newborn, and despite some issues of my own (I suffered from Post-partum Depression after Me & 1 month Haera KimHaera’s birth) and some sleep issues of Haera’s, by the time she was 5 weeks old, Haera was sleeping on her own. She was also sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at night. We were told that exclusively breastfed babies woke more often at night, but not our baby. When she did wake for a feeding, I could put her straight into the co-sleeper crib and she’d drift off to dreamland. She was sleeping soundly and peacefully. It was such a dream, and we were so happy to be the lucky ones!!

Well, fast-forward 4 weeks later, our 9-week old baby girl suddenly declared she was no longer a sleep-through-the-night baby, and it felt like it happened overnight. She began to wake up every 30 minutes to an hour, and her 4-5 hour stretches turned into 2 hours. Her naps suddenly became 30 minutes on the dot. At first, we thought it was a phase, but her sleep wasn’t getting any better, it was only getting worse.

The Baby Sleep Site: Oh, yes, that sounds familiar – so many families tell us a similar story! Sleep is okay for the first 6 or 8 weeks, and then it all falls apart.

Yeyin: That was sure true for us. Around this time, I started to search the Internet for answers. We never read one book about baby sleep nor did we know that so many even existed! We didn’t think it was something we had to READ about. We didn’t know baby sleep was any different from our sleep. We thought babies slept when they were tired and stayed awake when they were not. We knew nothing about sleep cycles, sleep associations, overtiredness, optimal wake windows, tired cues, the number of naps per day, appropriate nap durations, etc. We… knew… nothing.

I learned a lot in my research, but Haera’s sleep wasn’t getting better. We had resorted to holding her for ALL her naps (every… single… one…). The routine always started with a really long rocking and ssshing session that progressed to a careful transition into the rocking recliner. She slept on top of our chests. We used the pacifier and reinserted it constantly. We rocked the chair when she stirred. For nighttime, I went to bed with Haera between 5:30-6PM and had her nursing ALL night long in the most uncomfortable positions. She would sleep for 30 minutes, then wake for 2 hours, then sleep for 30 minutes to 1.5 hours and wake, then nurse, then sleep then wake if she became unlatched, etc. I’d try to use the pacifier, which worked about 25% of the time. It went on like this for 2.5 months.

My husband and I never saw each other, and the only way we communicated each other was through texting… By the time he came home from work, I was already “in bed” with Haera. Steve has been the most supportive husband and father, but there was only so much that he could do to help. Haera felt that she needed ME to sleep. I was beyond stressed, and at the time, I thought I was doing what any mom or dad would do. Desperate times called for desperate measures. Needless to say, my dedication to Haera’s sleep turned me into a very unhappy, frustrated person.

The Baby Sleep Site: Oh my goodness, Yeyin – this sounds horrible! No wonder you were feeling so desperate! What did you do next?

Yeyin: I finally contacted a local sleep consultant when Haera turned 4 months. She gave us instructions on how to approach our first night of cry-it-out leep training, and I couldn’t do it. I had a full-blown panic attack and came very close to vomiting from all the anxiety. So, I had to leave the house and implored Steve to stay with Haera. She cried for TWO HOURS until she couldn’t cry any more. The second night, she cried for an hour, and every night after that she cried, and cried, and cried. This accounts only for the crying that was at the beginning of the night, too. There was so much more crying in the middle of the night.

Me & 5 month Haera KimHow could this be okay? I asked myself this every single night. I hated myself for making my baby cry. I hated everything about the sleep training we were doing. Fast-forward 10 days: I was done. I was done with sleep training. The crying never got easier, and we did everything CONSISTENTLY. We couldn’t rely on our sleep consultant anymore, and I found myself unable to letdown while nursing anymore from all of the anxiety. I just couldn’t listen to our baby cry ANYMORE, so we stopped following the strict rules and guidelines. I was done, done, done. I didn’t go back to co-sleeping, but I went back to responding to my baby, picking her up, comforting her, nursing her, etc.

But, after ONE WEEK, I was in despair again. The crying before bedtime improved, but the crying following the first night waking (after 30 minutes to an hour of sleep) was particularly blood curdling. I just didn’t understand why our little one was crying so much after having gone to bed somewhat peacefully. I still had so many questions and doubts, but I didn’t want to go back to our original sleep consultant. Our philosophies and expectations just didn’t match up.

The Baby Sleep Site: This must have been such a hard time for you, Yeyin. Please tell me that the next move you made was to contact us!

Yeyin: It was! I finally decided to reach out to The Baby Sleep Site®. I had been perusing their website long enough to be aware their philosophies, and I had nothing to lose with their guarantee. This proved to be the single most effective, and BEST, decision I made with regards to Haera’s sleep.

I had signed up for the 30-day unlimited email package. It was the best value for us because I knew we needed extra time to work on Haera’s sleep, and the “unlimited” emails and responsiveness was something I felt would fit our family’s needs the best.

We were assigned to Nicole who graciously and kindly wrote to us that very evening and gave me some quick advice: Try to change her schedule THAT night. It was simply a moving her bedtime later and treating her current bedtime as a nap. She needed a bit more time to author our Personalized Sleep Plan, but skimming through our initial history intake form, she suspected that Haera was treating bedtime as a fourth nap and then waking up crying for such a long period of time because she was actually AWAKE. It broke our hearts. Why didn’t our first sleep consultant help us with this? She was the one who actually told us to pull bedtime to an earlier time and to “expect a lot of crying,” while Nicole told us to do the opposite and with much, much less crying. From the very start, through a simple email, Nicole changed our lives forever. Our sweet Haera no longer had to suffer through such an incredible and overwhelming amount of crying.

The Baby Sleep Site: Yep, Nicole’s pretty great like that! So you were off to a good start….what happened next?

Yeyin: Within a day or two, our Personalized Sleep Plan™ arrived, and it was so thorough and warm. The name of the publication service is justifiably and well named because it was indeed a sleep plan PERSONALIZED to our philosophies and to Haera’s needs. I still use our Personalized Sleep Plan™ today for advice and strategies.

From that day forward, I corresponded with Nicole each and every day. Haera needed a lot of work. We made a lot of progress in the beginning with changing Haera’s schedule, and then there was the “tweaking” we needed to do based on Haera’s temperament. Nicole has such an amazing skillset: To be in sync with babies. She explained what sort of temperament she suspected Haera had and based our sleep coaching approach to Haera’s individuals’ needs. The most awesome thing about Nicole is her empathy. She would say things like, “Me, too,” and that was all the validation I needed to feel sane and motivated to keep going.

Me & 6 month Haera KimSometimes (a lot of times), I would vent and write to Nicole in the middle of the night worried and wondering about why Haera was so inconsistent, strong-willed, etc., and Nicole would reply back every day and say she was sorry to hear we were having a bad day, BUT to keep on going and to hang in there! She was the best cheerleader I could ever ask for, and never ever did I ever feel second priority. I always felt like I was her one and only client, and I know that’s not the case. I can’t imagine how incredibly busy Nicole is juggling her responsibilities to The Baby Sleep Site, her clients, and her family! She is an amazing woman!

So, with Nicole’s help, we worked on bedtime and naptime. We went from me going to bed in the worst-case scenario (i.e., going to bed with our little one at 5:30PM, rocking/swaying/walking her in the middle of the night for HOURS, nursing all night long, popping in the pacifier when I couldn’t take the soreness of nursing anymore) to the BEST-CASE scenario (i.e., sleeping through the night with a feeding or two in the middle and no more dreamfeeds). We rearranged Haera’s schedule and shifted more of her day sleep to her night sleep. It turned out we were holding her for her naps for TOO long during the day, which interfered with how much she could sleep at night. We would have NEVER figured that out without Nicole’s help. Although Haera was still waking up at night, Nicole assured us that this was all within normal range. She was waking due to hunger and not because of an association, and learning that Haera was “within normal” relieved some of the built up pressure and made everything a bit more manageable.

The Baby Sleep Site: Awesome!!! Your progress is especially amazing, considering where you started.

Yeyin: It is! Today, Haera’s sleep is far from perfect, but the one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Nicole is that THAT IS OKAY. Haera’s temperament is not built like other babies who adapt well, who are consistent, who only fuss and whimper and do not wail out and scream their little, beautiful heads off. Haera is one-of-a-kind. So, although her sleep isn’t a model example of what an ideal sleeping baby should look like, Haera has made stark improvements from where she was to where is today. ALL babies are different, and Haera is no exception.

In all of the countless emails Nicole and I have exchanged, the most significant and poignant lesson I’ve learned was that I WAS NOT ALONE. This lesson alone has made the dealing with all the hardships, listening to all the hysterical crying, surviving all the sleep deprivation, and wondering if it would ever get better more bearable. In fact, sometimes I feel quite liberated in knowing that I am not alone. I was kinder to myself and allowed myself to feel frustrated, down, and upset and know that I am still a good mom! Nicole has always made sure to remind me of that!

Although I’m not in correspondence with Nicole right now, I still have email packages that I have bought to use for future use, so my time with Nicole and the Baby Sleep Site is far from over. During the time I am not in contact with Nicole, I use the resources in the Members Area section to help me navigate through the various changes Haera has been experiencing in her current 8/9/10 month regression-related sleep. The teleseminars and case studies were particularly helpful in guiding me in Haera’s current sleep situation.

The Baby Sleep Site: You are one prepared mama, Yeyin! I love that! Okay, before we wrap up – any parting words for our readers?

Yeyin: What else can I say about Nicole and The Baby Sleep Site? They RESCUED, REVIVED, and SAVED our lives… but most importantly and most tenderly, they saved our sweet, darling Haera.

Amazing! Thanks to ongoing support from Nicole, and her caring, compassionate advice, Yeyin’s whole family will be sleeping easier this holiday season. And you can, too! Remember, you can have your own sleep coaching success story, just like Yeyin’s – all you have to do is take that first step, and contact us for personalized sleep help today!

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Next up, we have Nadia and her cutie-patootie little guy, Isaac. Nadia has been a client of The Baby Sleep Site&reg’ for 11 – yes, that’s eleven – months. So to say that she’d had experience with our consultation process would be a bit of an understatement! ;) Today, Nadia’s family is sleeping well, but that was by no means the case 11 months ago…back then, Nadia and her husband were losing their minds over how to get Isaac to sleep. That’s when they decided they need professional help with Isaac’s sleep. Keep reading to find out what happened!

Baby Sleep Site: Nadia, tell us what Isaac’s sleep was like before you contacted us.

Nadia1Nadia: I first contacted the site for help back in November of 2013. My son, who was about 3 months at the time, suddenly became a cat napper-he needed to be rocked to go down for a nap, which usually consisted of holding him, bouncing or walking, and carrying him in a sling.  Sometimes we had to carry and bounce him in the car seat. It was weird, because up until he was about 6 weeks old, he napped 2-3 hours at time for his naps. Then, all of a sudden, he would be up, on the dot, at the 30 minute mark. You could set your clock to it! He’d wake up cranky and fussing. It drove us both nuts!
 
And bedtime was even worse.  I would rock or nurse Isaac down and he would fall asleep for the first 30 minutes, and sleep very deeply – but then he’d wake up. I would re-rock him down, often in a sling, swaddled, and he would drift off again.  I would sit with him another 30 minutes to ensure he was deeply asleep.  Then, and only then, I would transfer him out of the sling into the bed, where he would sleep for approximately 4-5 hours, wake up to nurse, and I would have to start the process all over again.  Simply put, it was exhausting for us all.

Baby Sleep Site: Nadia, this does sound tough. :( I know so many of our readers have been here – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy when you’re the one dealing with the sleep drama, all night and all day! 
 

Nadia2Nadia: Exactly! That’s when I decided I needed help, and I contacted The Baby Sleep Site®. Nicole whipped out a wonderful plan for Isaac, which required that first, he learn to go to sleep on his own. The plan worked, and within short 3 days, Isaac was falling asleep on his own! Nicole and I worked and tweaked the plan almost daily. I would write her daily updates (I had an unlimited e-mail package), and she would offer a lot of suggestions and support. Eventually, bedtime became a breeze – Isaac would fall asleep on his own and sleep peacefully until it was his time to nurse. And we worked on slowly weaning Isaac away from his night feedings, too.

 

The Baby Sleep Site: How awesome, Nadia! So excited that you’ve made such good progress!

Nadia: We really have! It took awhile, but the work has been worth it. Nicole went as ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ as I wanted through the whole process.  She also supported me through the transition from nanny, to a large daycare center, to an inhome daycare center, through a move to a new house, and finally, through a transition to an inhome daycare center #2. And that doesn’t even count al the help she gave me in dealing with illness and teething! She truly was there for me through it all – every day, I would email and every day, she would email me back. All told, I purchased months worth of unlimited email packages, and it was all worth it!

The Baby Sleep Site: Oh, Nadia – that’s so wonderful to hear!  
 

Nadia3Nadia: Now, after all of our work together, Isaac’s sleep is wonderful. He goes down by himself after a quick bath and nursing session at 8, and he sleeps the whole night! He takes on long, 2.5-3 hour nap in the afternoon (no more 30-minute cat-naps!). He is a happy boy, who is very active, and loves to hang out and talk to himself in his crib, without calling for mama.  I am now sleeping much better too! Looking back, I realize now that I learned so much from Nicole. Had it not been for her never-ending support and words of encouragement, I would have lost it by now. No joke. :) Nicole saved my baby’s sleep, my marriage and my sanity. I could not have done ANY of this without her, and I would recommend her to any mother who is struggling like I was. Throughout all of the ups and downs that the last year has brought, sleep-wise, knowing I had an expert to consult with every day was my piece of sanity – and it was worth WAY more than any the money I spent on my consultations! What she does for exhausted parents – and what she did for me – is priceless.

Wow, right! Talk about a big change! Thanks to unlimited support from our team of consultants, Nadia and her family are looking forward to a peaceful, rested holiday season. And while most families won’t need months of unlimited support, how nice it is to know that if that’s the kind of help YOU need, we offer it! We really will go as fast or as slow as you’d like, and we’re willing to stick with you through every step of the sleep coaching process – even it if happens to take you months to reach your goals. ;)

Remember, you can have your own sleep coaching success story, just like Nadia’s – all you have to do is take that first step, and contact us for personalized sleep help today!

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10 Bedtime Story Books You Can Turn Into Sleep Training Tools

Bedtime Books Sleep Training Tools

We’ve already said a lot (A LOT) on this site about bedtime – including when exactly bedtime should happen. We’ve also written a ton about bedtime routines – what bedtime routines should (and shouldn’t) look like, why a bedtime routine is key to sleep coaching, and more.

But here’s a part of most parents’ bedtime routines that goes overlooked as a sleep training tool: the bedtime story book. Sure, most of us probably spend at least a few minutes reading to our little cherubs before tucking them in at night, but have you ever stopped and thought about how you can turn the bedtime story to your (sleep training) advantage?

You can.

Now, that’s not to say that you have to choose special “sleep-focused” books at bedtime – there’s a lot to be said for simply reading a good book to your kiddo, regardless of whether or not it mentions sleep! Reading is hands-down the best way to establish early literacy, and it makes for pretty fantastic parent-child bonding time, too.

But if you’re sleep coaching, you no doubt want to utilize every tool at your disposal to help the process along – and the bedtime books you choose can be powerful tools indeed. Read on for details!

10 Bedtime Books You Can Turn Into Great Sleep Coaching Tools

Unknown-6 BOOK: Goodnight Moon – by Margaret Wise Brown

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: A bedtime book classic! Little bunny bids “good night” to everything in his room, before peacefully drifting off to sleep himself.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: Have a toddler who’s fighting off bedtime? Saying “good night” to the things she encounters as she goes through her bedtime routine is actually a powerful way to help signal that it’s time to go to sleep. It’s also a way for your toddler to mentally reassure herself that everything else in her life (and in her room) is going to sleep too – so she’s not missing anything. ;) And this is a great book for babies, too – the simple illustrations and primary colors provide great visual appeal for infants!

 
Unknown-5 BOOK: A Book of Sleep – by Il Sung Na

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: A wide-awake little owl swoops through this beautifully-illustrated book and watches all the other animals settle down (and snuggle down) for sleep.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: If you have your own “wide-awake” little watchful owl at bedtime, this book is a great resource! As your child watches how all the animals sleep in their own special way, it can provide big reassurance that bedtime really is for sleeping. And if your toddler has a unique bedtime arrangement (maybe he has to sleep with three or four of the same special stuffed friends each night?), then he can take pride in knowing that just like the animals, he has his own special way of sleeping. Babies will love this book, too – especially if you’re working on teaching your baby animal names and sounds.

 
Unknown-4 BOOK: Sleep Like A Tiger – by Mary Logue

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: A feisty little girl lets her parents know in no uncertain terms that she is not – positively not – tired. Her loving parents convince her that bed really is the place for her, and a colorful parade of animals follows, as these ingenious parents convince their little one to “sleep like a tiger”.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: Who among us HASN’T had a bedtime-avoider on their hands? The “I’m not tired!” line is a favorite among most toddlers. Well, this book is a great choice for the bedtime avoider in your house. Through this story and it’s gorgeous illustrations, your toddler will learn that it’s okay to have a feisty spirit, but that bedtime can be an exciting and imaginative time, too!

 
Unknown-3 BOOK: Where Do Diggers Sleep At Night? – by Brianna Caplan Sayres

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: An adorable look at where the big “diggers” sleep at night – this one is quite similar to Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: For the wee truck-lover in your life! If you have a little one who loves heavy machinery in your home, this book is sure to be a hit. As your child watches the beloved trucks and diggers go peacefully to bed, odds are bedtime will start to seem more appealing to your little guy or little girl, too!

 
Unknown-2 BOOK: Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep – by Joyce Dunbar

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: Little Willa is scared to go to sleep – good thing her big brother Willoughby is there to tell her something happy before she goes to sleep!

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: Bedtime fears and fear of the dark are very real for toddlers – and it’s very possible that at some point during the sleep coaching process, your little one will suddenly become scared at bedtime. This book is a great solution to that problem! Willa’s “happy thoughts” before bed can become your child’s – or, after the book is done, come up with some happy thoughts of your own! As for babies, they’re sure to love the snuggly bunny characters in this sweet little book.

 
Unknown-1 BOOK: It’s Time To Sleep, My Love – by Nancy Tillman

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: Mama animals gently put their babies to sleep in this fantastic book, complete with gorgeous, lush illustrations.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: It can really help your little one to know that when it’s her bedtime, lots of other things are going to bed, too – including animals! The soft, lilting rhymes of this book will lull even the youngest babies to sleep, and the message that everything around the world is going to bed can go a long way to helping your baby or toddler settle down and fall asleep without a fuss.

 
Unknown BOOK: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep! – by Bruce Arent

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: Simpson’s sheep need to go to sleep – but they just won’t! Between yakking and stalling and needing to “go”, these sheep are pro bedtime stalkers.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: Have a bedtime staller on your hands? Then this is the book for you! By the end, you and your toddler will be rolling over the sheep’s stall tactics, and will be chanting together, “Go to sleep, sheep!” This is a great way for toddlers to see how silly bedtime stalling can look from a different perspective, and will hopefully help you make progress towards smoother bedtimes yourselves.

 
Unknown-7BOOK: Sleep Is For Everyone – by Paul Showers

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: This little books presents great, basic information about why living things need sleep, and takes a look at how animals sleep, how people sleep, how sleep affects our brains, and more.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: Have a little budding scientist at home who constantly asks, “But why?” I can relate! If your little one just needs to know the “why” behind why she has to go to sleep, you’ll want to grab a copy of this book. It presents the basics about why sleep is important in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way. This book will definitely help convince your little bedtime skeptic that sleep matters, and that can help make sleep coaching even easier on both of you!

 
Unknown-8BOOK: Bedtime – by Elizabeth Verdick

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: Watch a toddler go through his bedtime routine with his family, from brushing teeth to taking a bath to lullabies and snuggles.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: Toddlers will be reassured that yes, bedtime is normal and everyone is doing it when they watch the character in the story go through his bedtime routine with mom and dad, and snuggle down happily into bed. Modeling good bedtime behavior and cooperation is a great way to help show your toddler exactly what’s expected of him at bedtime, and this book does exactly that – it provides a positive model of what bedtime should look like. A great tool to add to your sleep coaching arsenal! And babies can get a lot out of this book, too – after all, it’s never too late to start modeling good bedtime behavior, and establishing a strong bedtime routine! Note that this book is one in a series called “Toddler Tools” – check out their other books on meal-times, nap time, clean-up time, and more.

 
Unknown-9BOOK: Nursies When The Sun Shines – by Katerhine C. Havener

SUPER-SHORT SUMMARY: An adorable breastfeeding toddler learns that nighttime is for sleeping, and that “nursies” happen when during the day, when the sun shines.

WHY IT’S A GREAT SLEEP TRAINING TOOL: A FABULOUS book for co-sleeping parents who are working on weaning an older baby or toddler away from nighttime nursing. A client actually recommended this one to us awhile back, and said it was a lifesaver in her home! If you are working on night weaning as part of your sleep coaching, this book will be a great tool for you – it’s designed to help even young toddlers understand when it’s time to nurse, and when it’s time to sleep.

Get Sleep Training Help From The Baby Sleep Site®

A great arsenal of bedtime books can be a big help in your sleep training endeavors – but you’ll need more than bedtime stories to help your baby or toddler learn to fall asleep peacefully at bedtime and sleep through the night. You’ll need us! Let our team of expert sleep consultants craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for you, that’s personalized to your family and that’ll walk you through every step of sleep coaching.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

This is by no means an exhaustive list – we want to hear about your favorite bedtime books! Share your recommendations in the comments below, and help us expand our list!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

Disclosure: The Amazon links above are affiliate links. If you opt to purchase one of these books, The Baby Sleep Site® may receive a small commission from your purchase. This will not affect your purchase price. We only recommend those products that we feel are good resources for our readers.

Get To Know The Moms Behind Some Of Our Most Exciting Summer Sleep Stories!

Family Features Sleep Miracles

It’s the last week, readers – the last week to meet another incredible mom in our Family Features stories! Over the past few weeks, we’ve met Jenny, Vikki, and Whitney, and learned how, with the help of The Baby Sleep Site® sleep consultants, they helped their babies learn to sleep independently, through the night, and nap well. Scroll down to read their stories, if you missed them.

Today’s final story is brought to you by Jennifer. And let me tell you – Jennifer’s story is awesome. See, we weren’t the first sleep consulting organization she contacted. Jennifer had worked with THREE other sleep consultants, trying to solve Maddy’s persistent sleep struggles, and NONE of them had been able to help her. NONE. Not surprisingly, she didn’t hold out much hope that her Personalized Sleep Plan™ would help much, either, but she bought it anyway, just to try.

I’m happy to report that Jennifer was wrong about her Personalized Sleep Plan™. It proved to be exactly the solution she needed. Read on, and learn how Jennifer, with the help of her consultant Liz, finally found sleep coaching success!

 
 

Meet Jennifer, and Hear How, After 3 Sleep Consulting Failures, She Finally Found The Help She Needed At The Baby Sleep Site®

(written by Jennifer Smith)
 
WashingtonIMAGE1Oh, how I remember the day I signed up for the personalized sleep plan on The Baby Sleep Site. Tears rolled down my face as I hit the payment button. I had just read the testimonials of other parents and knew, without a doubt, that I would never, ever be in their company. After Maddy’s severe colic finally abated, we had a window of about three weeks where she slept just like all the books said she would.

And then, it stopped. She would only sleep if she was on me in the baby bjorn and I was moving, or in my arms and I was bouncing on the exercise ball. I remember bouncing as my husband left for work early in the morning; when he returned late in the evening, I was still there, still bouncing. Thank heavens for my iPad, my Netflix subscription, and “30 Rock.”

The worst, though, was when neither bouncing, nor the baby bjorn, nor vigorous gliding would work. Hour upon hour of screams and cries. We re-read every book and tried every method. When that didn’t work, we contacted sleep consultants. Two fired us because their methods should have worked but didn’t. The third just stopped responding. I spent long days checking and consoling Maddy through naps she never took. At night, it would take at least 90 minutes and sometimes more than three hours of absolute misery for her to find the sleep we so desperately wanted her to get. I tried to remember my mom’s advice: “if mom isn’t relaxed, baby cannot be relaxed.” But nothing seemed to work. Until we found co-sleeping. Relieved, we gave ourselves over to it. It wasn’t restful, it was completely disruptive to our household, but at least Maddy was sleeping and we were getting more sleep than we were used to.

And then that, too, stopped working, and we were back to square one.

When I confessed to my husband that I had engaged yet another sleep consultant, I sobbed. “It’s just more good money after bad, but I can’t live like this any longer. I have to have something, even if it’s just false hope.” If that sentence reads dramatic, you’re getting sleep. Sleep deprivation, as my friend told me, is the thief of perspective. It is also the thief of joy. We loved Maddy desperately, and we desperately needed her to sleep so we could get the rest we needed.

When the personalized sleep plan arrived, I devoured it and felt a huge rush of relief. I showed it to my husband, who also took heart. It was helpful, understanding, and clear. Context was provided for all the suggestions and there was enough wiggle room for us to tailor it to our specific parenting styles and abilities.

WashingtonIMAGE3As we proceeded, guess what? It didn’t work. And so I dropped it. Having been dismissed before, I just didn’t have the heart to be turned away again. But I came back because I had to—I just had to try again. That’s when we found out that “generous” doesn’t begin to describe The Baby Sleep Site’s email support. I explained what happened to our consultant, Liz, and she picked it right up, asked questions, conferred with me, and together we tweaked the plan. In the ensuing weeks, I emailed over large issues and very small questions. I mean, I wanted ALL MY BASES COVERED so I asked every single question I could come up with—sometimes more than once. Liz responded in a timely way and always addressed both the questions asked and those that were implied—the questions I was too sleep-deprived to form. The kindness and care Liz showered on us surprised me. With other sleep consultants, they were certain and directive. “Do this, and Maddy will sleep.” But the suggestions didn’t always work. And sometimes, we proved fallible (as people—sleep-deprived or otherwise—are prone to be). Liz walked me through every little detail, cheered us on for every success, and reassured me with every misstep.

With the counsel of Liz and The Baby Sleep Site, Maddy went from co-sleeping to sleeping through the night in her own crib with the least amount of tears of any sleep training program. What seemed to me an insurmountable mountain was summited one step at a time. I really felt roped to Liz and knew that she had my back if I slipped or was unsure. The directions from her were so helpful and clear that every night, I knew going in exactly what to do. When Maddy had trouble clearing a new hurdle, and I started to feel helpless, I just reminded myself, “your only job right now is to do x.” Knowing that Liz was keeping an eye on the big picture allowed me to just do the next thing. I didn’t have to worry about how on earth Maddy was EVER going to sleep in her crib ALL NIGHT. I just had to do x. I just had to do y. And then, as the successes started piling up, I became more confident. And as I became more confident, so did Maddy.

It’s hard to put into words just how much our lives have changed. I become quite emotional when I think about it. My husband and I can now talk without Maddy present—a huge gift. He and I can sleep in the same bed all night long. By ourselves. Instead of trying to figure out how to make it through another day, I am rested and happy when I hear Maddy stirring in the morning. We can think about expanding our family. I can read a book, or a magazine, or watch a show.

A few weeks after successfully sleep training Maddy, she became ill with a bad cold. She was terribly congested and could only find rest if I held her upright in my arms. Once she was well again, who was happy to get back to their respective sleep spaces? EVERYONE.

I thought our case was hopeless, I really did. With the help of The Baby Sleep Site, I am another proud member of the satisfied client list. And I am as well-rested as any mother of a strong-willed and independent 18 month-old can be.

 
 
WOW – just wow. Jennifer’s story is proof that our sleep consultants really can help just about any baby sleep – even a baby who has baffled three other sleep consultants! And they will do it in a supportive, non-judgmental way that leaves you feel encouraged and empowered instead of defeated and abandoned. And as Jennifer’s story shows, it’s not an overstatement to call a consultation with The Baby Sleep Site® life-changing. In Jennifer’s case, it absolutely changed her life, and saved her from spiraling even further into exhaustion and despair. A consultation with a Baby Sleep Site consultant really is an investment – in your baby’s (and your) health, in your sanity, in your relationship with your partner, in your overall quality of life…this is more than just a purchase. It’s an investment in your family. And we hope it’s an investment you’ll consider making today!
 
 
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Meet Whitney, and Hear How She Took Her Daughter From Screamer To Sleeper!

Meet Whitney, a loving and engaged mom whose daughter was a decent sleeper for the first 18 months of her life. Sure, she’d wake up once, or maybe twice, during the night, but it wasn’t anything Whitney and her husband couldn’t handle.

But then a double-ear infection struck, and everything fell apart.

Keep reading to find out how, with unlimited help from Nicole, Whitney and her husband were able to help their toddler re-learn how to sleep – and to start sleeping through the night for the first time in her life!

 
 

The Baby Sleep Site: Welcome, Whitney! So – you had a tough little sleeper at home before you contacted The Baby Sleep Site, right?

Whitney:Berlinandmom6mos-1 You bet! In terms of sleep, things had gotten so out of hand in our household that we weren’t sure what we needed more–a baby sleep expert or an exorcist! For most of her life, our daughter had “only” been waking once or twice a night–but at 19 months she came down with infections in both ears. By the time she was well again we had completely undone any sleep progress we had made–she was now waking up 4 or 5 times a night and screaming for a half hour at a time.

The Baby Sleep Site: Holy cow, Whitney – I understand the urge for an exorcist! How discouraging, especially since you’d enjoyed 19 months of decent sleep. So frustrating!

Whitney: It really was. After three weeks of this, my husband and I were tense, cranky, and exhausted to the point where I was hesitant to get behind the wheel of the car, I was so tired. Of course, we got lots of (conflicting) advice, which we did our best to follow–until the sheer exhaustion and confusion wore us down. We knew that we needed a clear, consistent road map–and fast. I posted a desperate message on Facebook and a friend pointed me to The Baby Sleep Site.

The Baby Sleep Site: Woohoo! We love it when we hear about referrals like that – so awesome to see moms helping other moms, and spreading the word about The Baby Sleep Site! So, once you visited the site and saw what we had to offer – what did you think?

Whitney: Honestly, at first we were hesitant to hire a sleep consultant. It seemed like such an extravagant luxury…and things weren’t really that bad, were they? Well, we went through one more night of screaming–and got in touch with a consultant the next morning!

The Baby Sleep Site: Ha! I love that – you’re right that sometimes, in the light of day, things seem more manageable, but then when you’re up all night again the next night, it’s back to feeling desperate. Totally understandable. So, tell us – what package did you buy?
 

Whitney: We opted for the unlimited 30-day e-mail package and sleep plan, which turned out to be a godsend. Nicole held our hands for the entire journey. She began by taking a thorough history of our issues and goals. Then she sent us a lucid, frogB-onBugstep-by-step plan to remedy the various individual problems that were collectively contributing to our daughter’s poor sleep. We could tell she had a lot of experience with frustrated, sleep-deprived parents–the way she communicates is so clear, gentle and easy to follow.

Thanks to our e-mail subscription, we were able to reach out to Nicole any time day and night (I sometimes emailed her multiple times during the night and by the next morning she would have answered every single email!). She validated our frustrations and offered genius advice. Because she had spent so much time getting to know how we work as a family, all of her suggestions were tailored to us (for instance, she knew that I couldn’t stand more than a few minutes of crying at a time, and she knew that we were willing to take several weeks to get to our goal if need be). Above all, she offered humor, empathy and a hearty dose of encouragement to get us through the roughest patches.

 

The Baby Sleep Site: Yep – that sounds like Nicole! Her heart is huge – especially for sleep-deprived parents. ;-) Tell us, Whitney: after a few weeks of working with Nicole on an unlimited basis, what happened?
 

Whitney: Today, I am astounded at how far we’ve come. We wrapped up our consultation a few weeks ago, and the past few weeks have been some of the best of my life. Nope, angels haven’t descended from the sky and I haven’t won the lottery–but my husband and I have been sleeping (drumroll, please…) 8 or 9 hours a night–really! Now that we’re replenishing the sleep debt, we’re finally communicating like the loving, compassionate couple we were before. We’ve also had the energy to cook, clean, go to the park and play with our daughter–and even catch up with our friends. In short, we have gotten our lives back. At almost 21 months old, our daughter is now truly sleeping through the night for the first time in her life!! The results are incredible–she’s much more cheerful during the day and has blossomed under our eyes. Signing up with The Baby Sleep Site has been one of the best investments we have ever made!

 
 
Pretty amazing, right? Whitney’s story is further proof that it’s never too late to sleep train – even if your toddler has never slept through the night a day in his life, we can help. And, it’s also proof that sleep can fall apart with any setback – that’s why it’s great to have us as a trusted resource to turn to! And did you catch that last line? Whitney referred to her consultation purchase as an investment. That’s really what this is, readers. A consultation with a Baby Sleep Site consultant is an investment – in your baby’s (and your) health, in your sanity, in your relationship with your partner, in your overall quality of life…this is more than just a purchase. It’s an investment in your family. And we hope it’s an investment you’ll consider making today!
 
 
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Meet Vikki, and Hear Her Sleep Coaching Story

Readers, meet Vikki! Vikki’s little Lyla was a pretty good sleeper early on, and she was a GREAT napper! But then the 4 month sleep regression hit, AND Lyla began to learn how to break free of her swaddle…and at that point, Lyla’s great sleeping habits were history. First night sleep started to suffer…then nap sleep…and pretty soon, no one was sleeping much at all. Add to this the fact that Lyla was one of those babies who just actively fought sleep (as Vikki described it to me, Lyla fought sleep “like a little prize fighter”!), and you can understand why Vikki contacted us for help! She had tried sleep training on her own, but it just wasn’t working, and she knew she needed some personalized help. Fortunately, Vikki and her sleep consultant, Jen, were able to get Lyla’s sleep back on track. Read on to learn more!

 
The Baby Sleep Site: Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today, Vikki! Let’s start by getting a better sense of what brought you to The Baby Sleep Site® in the first place. You mentioned to me that sleep really started to suffer when Lyla was a few months old – before that, sleep was better, right?

Vikki: Yes. From the time she was about 6 weeks old, Lyla was sleeping in The Meldrums 2013_4-3her crib, swaddled. And she was sleeping through the night, all on her own, from 7-8 p.m. until about 6 a.m. It was great! But then, when she was about 3 or 3.5 months old, she started to break free of her swaddle on a regular basis. We knew that wasn’t safe, so we stopped swaddling her. At that point, all hell broke loose!

The Baby Sleep Site: Oh, no! That must have been frustrating for you and Brian. :( Now, you tried to do some sleep training you your own at this point, right? When Lyla was about 4 months old? Tell us about that.

Vikki: Oh, boy – where to start! Well, to begin, Lyla used to be a world-class sleeper. She would fuss very little, and had a great nap schedule. But then, once the Great Swaddle Break of 2013 took place, she got fussier. We tried nap training with her when she was about 4 months old, and it actually went very well – by the time she was 5 months old, she’d go down for naps drowsy but awake and not fuss at all.

The Baby Sleep Site: Wow – that’s great, Vikki!

Vikki: Vikki MeldrumWell, it would have been great – if it had lasted! Unfortunately, everything fell apart once we started trying to work on nighttime sleep training, when Lyla was about 5.5 months old. It was a nightmare. We tried various hybrids of sleep training methods – we did the check-and-console method, we tried picking her up to calm her and then putting her back down in her crib for sleep, we tried Ferberizing – nothing worked. Lyla just screamed and screamed and screamed. For hours. Finally, things got so bad that she started clawing at her head and neck, and actually drawing blood. At that point, I threw in the towel and did whatever I needed to in order to help Lyla fall asleep. That’s when I started rocking/walking/feeding her to sleep at night and for naps.

The Baby Sleep Site: Vikki, this must have been awful for all of you!

Vikki: It was heartbreaking to see her so upset. Lyla is normally such a happy, engaged, adorable baby – the only time she really wailed was when it came to go to sleep. Honestly, she would just fight sleep – it was so frustrating!

The Baby Sleep Site: So this was about the time that you reached out to The Baby Sleep Site, correct? Tell us a bit about the start of your consultation.

Vikki: I filled out my sleep history form and sent it off to Jen, my consultant. This was on a Thursday night – by Monday afternoon, I had my Personalized Sleep Plan™ waiting in my inbox! I was honestly so excited about it – I knew it was just what Brian and I needed. Brian and I read over the plan together and then got to work putting into practice at home.

The Baby Sleep Site: Great! So, tell us about what happened once you started using Jen’s recommendations at home.

Vikki: The plan was pretty gentle in nature, which I liked – I know we would have to expect some crying, but I didn’t want Lyla to have to endure long stretches of crying, especially since we knew from our past attempts at sleep training that it wouldn’t go well! So, we started off by gradually weaning Lyla away from her need to breastfeed to sleep. Following the plan, I was able to get Lyla to fall asleep without breastfeeding pretty quickly, which was a huge victory! However, we had some setbacks early on, too. We quickly figured out that if I stayed in the room with Lyla while she was falling asleep, it just made things worse! After e-mailing back and forth with Jen, though, we came up with some modifications to the plan, and that really helped.

The Baby Sleep Site: Awesome! So glad you took the time to follow up with Jen and work with her on modifying the plan as necessary. That’s the beauty of the follow-up help that comes built in to the packages; it lets parents and consultants work together to continually improve the plan, and to adjust things that aren’t working well.

Vikki: Yes! We ended up making a few tweaks to our plan, based on what my husband and I were seeing with Lyla. One of those was to actually work on nights and naps at the same time – we started out trying to work on them separately, but we quickly realized that was confusing for Lyla. We talked it over with Jen, and everyone agreed that we should try sleep coaching for naps and nights together. That change to the plan ended up making a big difference! It still took Lyla awhile to learn how to fall asleep on her own, but once Brian and I began using the same approach at naps and at night, and stuck to it consistently, Lyla began to get the hang of it.

The Baby Sleep Site: Woohoo!

Vikki: Ha – woohoo indeed! I think the best thing about the consultation process with Jen was that, with her help, Brian and I realized that we needed to The Meldrums3set up ‘rules’ (for ourselves and for Lyla) about how we were going to handle Lyla’s sleep challenges. For example, going through this process made Brian and I realize that it was key for us to leave Lyla in her crib once we had put her down for sleep – picking her up to comfort her was only making things worse. Now, when she’s fussing in her crib, we get down on eye-level with her and offer hugs and pats through the crib slats, and talk to her, but everyone understands that she has to stay in the crib when it’s time to sleep. We have a few other rules like that, too, which have been a key part of helping us improve Lyla’s sleep. We worked closely with Jen and Nicole in developing these rules, and Brian and I have worked hard to stick to them and stay consistent. And it’s paying off!

The Baby Sleep Site: Okay, so speaking of ‘paying off’, let’s move on to the part that everyone is most interested in – did your consultation work? Is Lyla sleeping better now?

Vikki: In a word – yes! I am delighted to report that now, thanks to the sleep coaching we did with Jen’s help, Lyla is successfully going to sleep on The Meldrums 2013_4-27her own (and happily, for the most part!) for her naps AND for bedtime. What’s more, she is completely night-weaned now – and it only took me 10 days to get her to drop that last, unnecessary night feed! Getting Lyla to this point was definitely work, and the process wasn’t always smooth. There are still nights when, persistent little girl that she is, she protests at bedtime. But when I think about the fact that we went from having a little girl who screamed for hours and didn’t want to sleep, and would only fall asleep if I nursed her, to having a little girl who understands the rules, knows what to expect, and sleeps 12 hours a night and takes great naps – I have to say, I’m so proud!

Lyla’s quality of sleep is better, my brain is better, our household is happier, and our overall quality of life is so improved, thanks to the plan that Jen and Nicole created and all the support they provided. I honestly can’t thank them enough for their help – I am forever grateful!

The Baby Sleep Site: Awwww…thanks, Vikki! Stories like these are what all the hard work worth it. :) Sounds like your consultation experience with Jen was really, really positive.

Vikki: Yes! I especially loved how accessible Jen was through the entire process. I bought the Deluxe package, so I had three follow-up emails to use, but we exchanged more than three e-mails. When I would ask a quick follow-up question, or when I needed clarification on something in the plan (or even when I just needed some encouragement!), Jen would reply with a short email that she didn’t count against my 3 e-mail total. She ‘charged’ only for lengthier e-mails in which she was giving me new sleep advice. This really made me feel like we were in it together, and that I could approach her when I needed to without having to worry about using up my emails too quickly.

The Baby Sleep Site: I’m so glad, Vikki! Okay, as we wrap up – any final words you want to share?

Vikki: Can I say thanks one more time? Ha! Thanks again for being such an amazing, trusted resource. You guys rule!!

So that’s how Vikki was able to help her little sleep “prize fighter” learn to sleep through the night (12 straight hours, thankyouverymuch – pretty impressive!) and nap like a champ. Vikki couldn’t do it on her own, but she had the wisdom to realize that this didn’t mean she was doing anything “wrong” – it just meant she needed some expert hep! That might be just what you need, too – some expert, personalized guidance. Our sleep consultants are standing by, eager to help you tackle your sleep challenge. What are you waiting for? Get your Personalized Sleep Plan™ today!
 
 
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Meet Jenny, and Hear How She Helped Alexis Learn To Sleep!

JennyPic1We’re kicking off our summertime Family Features by introducing Jenny. Jenny first approached us for help when her adorable little Alexis was just 10 weeks old. That’s fairly young to sleep train (although our consultants often work with parents of newborns and young babies), but you see, Jenny is a teacher, and she only had about 5 weeks of maternity leave left. And given the fact that she she was having to hold Alexis pretty much 24-7, and that Alexis was napping a ton and up often at night, it’s understandable why Jenny wanted to sort out Alexis’s sleep before returning to to the classroom!

However, Jenny’s consultation didn’t go quite as she expected. Her little Alexis threw her a few curveballs. But with the help of her consultant, Elaine, Jenny was ultimately able to make BIG changes to Alexis’s sleep. But don’t take my word for it – read on, and hear from Jenny herself!

The Baby Sleep Site: Jennifer, tell us what prompted you to purchase a consultation package from The Baby Sleep Site®.

Jenny: Alexis was very young when I bought my consultation package – she was just about 10 weeks old. The main reason I wanted to work on her sleep early was because, at the time of my purchase, I had about 5 weeks left before I had to return to my teaching job. I knew that once I started back to work, I would need more sleep, and I also knew that I needed a better daytime routine for Alexis, so that my mom (who regularly babysits Alexis) would have an easier time caring for her.

The Baby Sleep Site: Going back to work can definitely be daunting when you have a sleepless little one at home, that’s for sure! So what was Alexis’s sleep like before you started your consultation?

Jenny: Well, first of all, Alexis needed to be held pretty much constantly. That’s not unusual for a 10 week old, of course, but it was getting exhausting, having to hold her all the time. I always needed to hold her in order to her to fall asleep. Alexis also slept off and on a lot during the day (at random times, though – I was letting her pretty much nap on demand), and then she would be up a lot at night. I felt like she might be sleeping too much during the day, but I wasn’t sure.

When I went into the consultation with Elaine, I was really looking for a more structured daytime schedule (although I didn’t want anything rigid), and I was hoping that Elaine would help me to lengthen Alexis’s nighttime sleep. I knew Alexis obviously needed to keep feeding at night, and I actually really enjoyed the nighttime feeds – but I just wanted fewer of them! I loved holding Alexis too, but I knew that we couldn’t continue with me having to hold her all day long.

The Baby Sleep Site: Makes sense! Now, what happened once your consultation started?

Jenny: I was really excited about the plan after I first read it – it was so detailed! I started by asking some clarifying questions on a few points of the plan that I needed help with. Once I got her responses, I felt ready to start!

The Baby Sleep Site: Great! And what happened next, Jennifer? Did you start to see progress?

Jenny: JennyPic2Ha! Not really – the opposite, actually! Within 2 days of trying sleep coaching, Alexis’s sleep seemed worse. I was so discouraged at that point. I wasn’t sure if what was happening was normal – maybe things were supposed to get better before they got worse? I felt uncertain about whether to continue on with the Plan, to speed things up, or to slow things down. Fortunately, I was able to email Elaine and share my concerns with her, and she replied with a really encouraging email. She gave me some general pointers and loads of support, but she also gave me permission (in fact, she urged me!) to follow my gut. She also pointed out that I was starting sleep coaching pretty early, so it might be best to slow down or to stop altogether and just wait a bit longer to sleep coach. This was so comforting to me! Honestly, sometimes it is hard to sort through all the info that’s out there, and to just listen to my instincts.

At that point, I slowed way down in the sleep coaching. I didn’t want to push Alexis too fast. I took it slow for about 6 weeks. Then, not too long after I returned to work, I decided it was time to try sleep coaching again. Alexis had been through the 4 month sleep regression by that point, and her sleep was even more challenging. She was napping a lot during the day, but then restless at night. I had to hold her every night until she fell asleep, which made it tough to grade papers or write lesson plans, or to have any time with my husband. We were also co-sleeping every night, since that was the only way Alexis would sleep well. It finally got the point where I just couldn’t do it anymore, so I decided to pick up my Personalized Sleep Plan™ and try again.

The Baby Sleep Site: Fantastic! So glad you followed your gut, Jennifer. So – how did attempt #2 go? Better than attempt #1?

Jenny: SO much better! I was still using a gentle approach, the way I had the first time, but within 3 or 4 nights, we had made so, so much progress. I was putting her to bed drowsy but awake, and she was settling on her own, without much fussing at all, and falling asleep on her own. It was great!

A few weeks later, I decided to try working on naps (I had still been rocking her to sleep for naps up to that point). I wasn’t sure Alexis was ready, but my mom had been laying her down for naps awake for a little while, and she said it was going well. So one day, I laid Alexis down awake for all of her daytime naps. Sure enough, she fell asleep and slept great!

But that’s not the best part: that night, after three great naps, I put her down for bed awake, and SHE SLEPT 11 STRAIGHT HOURS IN HER CRIB! I couldn’t believe it! I hadn’t been trying for sleeping through the night at that point – I was fully expecting to feed Alexis at some point during the night. My guess is that, now that Alexis knew how to put herself to sleep, she was able to fall back to sleep on her own quickly when she woke during the night. It was so encouraging to see what a great sleeper she had become!

The Baby Sleep Site: WOW, Jennifer – talk about a big change! Seems like waiting to sleep coach was a great decision!

Jenny: Yes, it was! I literally went from holding her for every nap and every night (and not having any time to talk to my husband, do school work or house work), to co-sleeping during the 4 month sleep regression to putting her down awake and now actually have time to get things done at night and during the day (wow!). I thought it would take much longer since I held her so much, but she really amazed me.

The Baby Sleep Site: We are so, so happy for you, Jennifer. This is such an encouraging story – it’s a great example of why sometimes it makes sense to wait a few weeks before sleep coaching, especially with young babies. It does seems like, by getting your plan early, you were able to instill a good foundation with Alexis, and then that foundation paid off when, about 6 weeks later, you were able to sleep train her in about a week. Congratulations again! Any last words you want to share with our readers before we wrap up your interview?

Jenny: I would love to thank Elaine again! Elaine, thank you SO MUCH for developing a plan for us that was so detailed and matched my comfort level with crying (which was minimal). I also appreciate you encouraging me to follow my instincts about waiting. Thank you for educating me on this process and for helping Alexis become an independent sleeper. I also can’t thank you enough for giving me back some time during the day and at night to tend to the household and my lesson planning/grading. You truly have given me a gift! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

There you have it, readers – there may have been a few speed bumps along the way, and the pace may have ended up being slower than Jenny was anticipating, but with Elaine’s help, she was able to help Alexis create healthier sleep associations, and to get her little one sleeping soundly! And you can, too. Our sleep consultants are standing by, eager to help you tackle your sleep challenge. What are you waiting for? Get your Personalized Sleep Plan™ today!
 
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Is Sleep Training Selfish? Well, Yes…And No

 
Is Sleep Training Selfish?

Okay, parents, let’s just get it right out in the open. It’s the elephant in the room for many of our consultation clients, but we think it’s high time we addressed it here on the blog, and talked about it openly.

We’re talking about sleep training guilt.

Have you felt this? Does the idea of sleep training in order to achieve hours of glorious, uninterrupted night sleep and long, peaceful naps sound wonderful to you? But maybe it’s also tainted by a weird, lingering feeling of guilt, that somehow even wanting to sleep train (much less actually doing it) is somehow selfish?

If so – you’re not alone. MANY of the families with whom we’ve worked have said this very thing as they’ve started their consultations – “I’m so excited to be doing this finally, but I also feel super guilty. I feel selfish for wanting to fix my child’s sleep!”

Well, readers, this is the question we’re answering in today’s post: Is sleep training selfish? We say yes AND no – read on to find out why!

Sleep Training “Selfishness”: Why The Guilt In The First Place?

Why does sleep training feel selfish in the first place? Well, most of us end up sleep training out of our own crippling exhaustion. While some parents do sleep train solely based on their baby’s needs, for most of us, it’s a combination of “my baby isn’t getting enough sleep, and NEITHER AM I!!” Because, if we’re honest with ourselves, we need sleep, too. We need adequate sleep in order to have healthy relationships with our partners, to enjoy our daily lives and activities, and to be the best parents we can be.

I also think that sleep training guilt over “being selfish” has a lot to do with the pervasive myth of The Super-Mom. What is the super-mom? Well, super-moms…

  • breastfeed with ease (no latching problems, nipple soreness, or supply issues, thankyouverymuch) and do it exclusively for years.
  • …make ALL baby and toddler food from scratch, using only organic, locally-grown ingredients.
  • …can churn out ALL the crafts on Pinterest – and theirs always look just like the pictures. (Meanwhile, mine end up looking a whole lot more like this…anyone else??)
  • …retain their girlish figures indefinitely (because why let a little thing like multiple pregnancies be an excuse for saggy tummies and less-than-lovely breasts?)
  • …have 18 month olds who are potty-trained AND reading independently.
  • …are unfazed by their toddlers’ monster-sized tantrums and NEVER resort to raising their voices or losing their cool.
  • …can happily subsist on just a few hours of sleep per night, and still be patient moms and loving spouses all day long.

Now, not all of these are unachievable dreams — some of these bullet points may describe you, actually! (Although if the bit about the girlish figure fits you, I have to ask — what’s your secret???! ;) And that one about never raising your voice — could someone please tell me how to manage that on a daily basis??) But the point is that there is NO mom out there who fully fits this profile – because it’s not realistic. A mom who could pull all that off would be more robot than human. Especially that last one — while a small percentage of you may be able to function long-term on very little sleep, I’ll be you’re doing just that – functioning. Not living life to the fullest, not enjoying your family and your life – just functioning. And I’ll bet that most of you (me included) can’t even function on just a few hours of sleep for very long.

You know, I used to wish SO HARD that I was the kind of mom who could be up with the baby all night long and then be sweet and calm and happy the next day — but I’m not. Not by a long shot, actually! I need a minimum of 6 hours at night to function well the next day, and if I have a few nights in a row of getting less than 8 hours of sleep, I need to make up for it with one or two nights of getting 9 or 9.5 hours. I used to feel bad about this – can you believe that? I used to feel guilty for needing to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. But it’s true – and I’ll bet most of you can relate. Because that’s not what super-mom is supposed to do; she’s not supposed to let a little thing like constant sleep deprivation slow her down!

Is Sleep Training Selfish? For Some Of Us…Technically Yes!

You know, the word “selfish” is a pretty loaded one – it has a ton of negative connotations. Lots of dictionary definitions define selfish as being supremely concerned with oneself, and not caring about the needs or interests of others. In short – selfishness is bad, by standard definitions!

But do you know what selfishness technically means? Break the word down, and it simply means ‘concern for one’s self.’ By this definition, then, sleep training can be selfish, if you do it out of a concern that you might literally DIE if you don’t start getting enough sleep! Or if you do it for fear that your marriage might fall apart if you and your spouse don’t start getting enough sleep, and you don’t want your partner to leave you. Or if you do it because you feel yourself sinking into a deep depression that you know is brought on by sleep deprivation.

Technically speaking, those are all “selfish” acts – they’re done out of concern for yourself.

But…

Is Sleep Training Selfish? Ultimately, No.

I think we’d all agree that our reasons for sleep training involve more than just our own wellbeing. Most of us sleep train for our spouses and partners, too – we recognize the toll that sleep deprivation is taking on them. And, of course, we do it for our children, because we know that as long as they are waking too often at night, or taking too-short naps, they are not getting the rest they need for healthy development. And many of us know firsthand that our overly-tired children are simply too tired and cranky to enjoy each day – and that’s something that no parent wants for their child!

So, even if some of your motives for sleep training are technically “selfish”, in that they are focused on your needs, it’s likely you have other reasons for sleep training, too.

And what about those “selfish” motives? Should you feel bad about them? In a word – NO. Taking care of yourself, while it may not be part of the “super-mom” myth, is in reality a very, very healthy practice. If you are so busy taking care of everyone else in your family that you completely ignore your own needs, it won’t be long before you are too burnt out to be much use to anyone. Better to pay attention to yourself AND to your children and your partner – better to focus on meeting your own sleep needs AND on making sure that the other members of your family are rested.

You Don’t Have To Feel Selfish For Reclaiming Your Sleep — Let Us Help!

If you feel desperate to solve your baby or toddler’s sleep problems, and to reclaim your own sleep, don’t let yourself be bogged down by guilt! Sleep training may be one of the best decisions you ever make for yourself and for your family – so why not start today? Our trained sleep consultants are standing by, ready to help you get started. Your consultant will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for you and your family, and walk you through every step of implementation.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

How about you – have you struggled with sleep training guilt? Do you think sleep training is selfish? Share your opinions with us!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
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bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
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Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Seven: Celebrate Success (No Matter How Small!)

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART SEVEN: Celebrate Success (No Matter How Small!)

 
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Boot Campers – YOU DID IT. You made it to the end! And what does that mean? It means – it’s time to celebrate your success! Even small successes get celebrated today :-).

Sweet and awesome Vikki, your resident boot camp encourager, is back today, and she’s bringing us one last boot camp article. Let the celebration begin!

Celebrating A Successful Sleep Training Boot Camp

The Meldrums 2013_4-29My fellow sleep warriors, YOU DID IT. You made it through Sleep Training Boot Camp! Go you! Whether your baby is sleeping through the night like an angel, you just started your sleep training journey, or you’re somewhere in between, CONGRATULATIONS. Every sleep success, no matter how small, is cause for celebration!

Sometimes the hardest part of training is getting started. Even though we struggled with Lyla’s sleep for many months, I just kept hoping it would get better. I had gotten used to our nightly battles and just thought this is what life was like with a struggled sleeper. I wanted a more peaceful situation for Lyla. I wanted to feel rested so I could be a more patient mom. I wanted a happier, less tired household, but I didn’t know if or how any of it was possible. Deciding to try sleep training made it happen. So if you’re just starting out, look for small victories. Did you shave off even a few minutes from bedtime? SUCCESS! Has baby been more open to a change in routine that will lead to better sleep? TRIUMPH! Did baby nap for even five minutes longer than the day before? YOU DID THAT!

It can be so hard to stay consistent during sleep training, but hopefully Sleep Training Boot Camp helped keep you on the road to sleep street! There were so many times while training Lyla I wanted to just give up. Some nights it seemed like it didn’t matter what I did, the kid was not going to sleep. But I found inspiration in the fact that not knowing how to sleep is temporary and teaching her the tools to hang out in happy snoozeland would last her a lifetime. Did you push through when you wanted to give up? GO YOU!

The Meldrums 2013_4-13Did you attack naps during Sleep Training Boot Camp? HECK YES! Naps can be a constant source of stress, especially if baby refuses them. Remember, your baby or toddler needs that sleep, and you need that time in the day to recharge your batteries. Working towards better naps skills with your child is a win, even if it’s just adding a few minutes to sleepy time. There is happy on the other side of that successful nap – AND YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!

If sleep setbacks, like teething or sleep regressions, got the best of you, no worries! The tools are still here for you. Whether your baby is a good sleeper that just needs some fine-tuning, or is a chronically awake human like my little Lyla bean, there will be setbacks. But remember: SETBACKS DON’T MEAN FAILURE. Even after you’ve found the sleep training approach that works for you and baby, stuff comes up. YOU CAN AND WILL GET AND KEEP YOUR BABY SLEEPING PEACEFULLY. You can do it!

My fellow sleep conquerors, we came into this Boot Camp searching for a solution. Needing a break. Wanting desperately for our babies to find peaceful, happy slumber. Whether you just took the first step or have worked through a Personalized Sleep Plan™ and are watching baby drool happily in dreamland right now, YOU DID IT! You made progress in helping baby learn to sleep! Remember: no matter where you are in the sleep training journey, keep going. Your baby or toddler will get there, and you’ll be right beside him or her every step of the way.

Congratulations on a successful Sleep Training Boot Camp!!!

Not Quite Where You Want To Be, Sleep-Wise? We Can Help!

I feel like we can’t emphasize this enough: ANY success is worth celebrating, when it comes to sleep training. But even if you’ve had small successes, you may still not be quite where you want to be, sleep-wise. That’s okay – there is plenty of time to keep working on sleep. And don’t forget that we’re here to help you! For TODAY ONLY, you can grab any of our sleep consultation packages, or any of our e-Book titles, at a 15% discount! These boot camp essentials are the tools you need to help get you where you want to be, and to end your journey to better sleep.

Grab a consultation package or e-Book at 15% off – SALE ENDS TUESDAY!

So remember, boot campers – as we say goodbye to Sleep Training Boot Camp, celebrate your successes, even if they’re small. And if you aren’t quite where you want to be, don’t worry! We can help!

What are your sleep training successes? Share them – we want to celebrate with you! Have questions about sleep challenges that remain? Ask, and we’ll answer!

 
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<--Boot Camp Part Six: Handling Sleep Setbacks